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Beyond Cronyism to Geopolitics in the Port Controversy

Posted by Brooke Shelby Biggs on February 22nd, 2006

As much as this is a story of privatization and racism, it is also about cronyism. The New York Daily News notes that Dubai Ports World has at least two ties to the Bush Administration - Treasury Secretary John Snow who, a year after joining the administration, sold his company's port operations to the same Dubai firm; and David Sanborn, the head of the U.S. Maritime Administration who still runs Dubai Ports World's European and Latin American operations.

But before concluding that this is simply more Bushistic cronyism, consider that almost all of the United States' military supplies headed for Iraq and Afghanistan are channelled through Dubai's ports, at the pleasure of Dubai's government, which in turn just happens to run DP World. This is geopolitical quid-pro-quo. Don't piss off Dubai, and we can still run our wars in the Middle East.


Pump and Dump

Posted by Brooke Shelby Biggs on February 22nd, 2006

We're back!

Great interview with the authors of "Pump and Dump: The Rancid Rules of the New Economy" on the WaPo site today. The book's authors float an obvious theory (to us anyway) of 1990s financial fraud called "pump and dump," in which corporate executives artificially inflate stocks and securities in order to sell their shares at higher prices, leaving any fall-out and responsibility on naive investors.

You don't say? We applaud the market timing of the publisher, releasing the book as they did during the Enron trial.


Tyco Execs' Mugshots

Posted by CorpWatch on January 3rd, 2006

It isn't everyday you get to see Dennis Kozlowski holding a jailhouse clapboard featuring his vitals. Thanks to Thesmokinggun.com, we can give you that pleasure.

kozlowski mugshot

Click here for former Tyco CFO Mark Swartz's mugshot. (Hey, where did his curly tresses go?)

Looking Back on 2005

Posted by Brooke Shelby Biggs on January 2nd, 2006

Sure, sure, The New York Times is the voice of the status quo according to lefties, the bully pulpit of the liberal elite according to righties. But if corporate corruption, graft, greed, incompetence and influence-peddling are of concern to you - no matter your political stripe - you have to admit that a lot of stories used to fly under the radar of the Gray Lady are now frontpage news, and that is good news. Perhaps we can thank Kenneth Lay for that; what we at CorpWatch have long done just wasn't as sexy before he came along. Thanks, you big lug.

So here in the first week of a new year, we begin with a clean slate, ready for a year of customary despoiling. In reflection, let us review the year in corporate crime, courtesy of Gretchen Morgenson at The New York Times. (Or, of course, you could page through a few thousand of our favorite stories on the subject from the last 12 months ...)

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